Net transportation jobs significantly increased yet again in October after a large increase in September and August. The transport sector gained nearly 25,000 jobs because of high increases in the warehousing, couriers, support activities and trucking industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The truck transportation subsector experienced an increase of more than 2,000 jobs in October after the industry gained nearly 6,000 in September and nearly 7,000 in August. Numbers for October and September are preliminary and are likely to change in the coming months. So far, trucking jobs are up nearly 32,000 for the year.
Warehousing/storage and couriers/messengers both experienced the largest increase in the sector with 7,600 jobs added each, followed by support activities for transportation and trucking with 4,800 and 2,400 more jobs, respectively. Rail transportation suffered the only monthly job loss with 300 fewer jobs.
In 2017, the transportation and warehousing sector had a net gain of more than 3 million jobs. In every month except January there was a job increase compared to the previous month. September accounted for the largest one-month increase, with more than 25,000 jobs in the sector added to the economy. For the year, the trucking subsector had a net gain of 9,400 jobs in 2017.
Average hourly earnings for the transportation and warehousing sector was $24.50 for October – a 5-cent increase from September. Earnings were up 49 cents from October 2017. Hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees went up 8 cents to $22.09 from the previous month and up 57 cents year to year. Average hourly earnings for private, nonfarm payrolls across all industries were $27.30, a 5-cent increase from the previous month. Compared with a year ago, average earnings have gone up by 3.1 percent, or 83 cents.
According to the report, the unemployment rate for transportation and material-moving occupations dropped to 4.8 percent, compared with 5.2 percent in October 2017. However, the rate increased slightly from 4.62 percent in September. The overall unemployment remained stagnant at 3.7 percent. The number of long-term unemployed was also unchanged at 1.4 million, accounting for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.
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